Smeal College is the business school of Penn State, a public university which grew out of the Civil War era programme providing land grants for academic institutions.
Founded in 1953 as the Department of Commerce and Finance, it was renamed in 1990 following a donation of $10 million, then the largest given to Penn State, by economics alumnus Frank Smeal, a partner in Goldman Sachs, and his wife Mary Jane.
Under the slogan of "Shaping the Fate of Business", it operates from the largest building on the university’s main State College campus, one of 24 spread across Pennsylvania. In 2016 the Business Building, whose facilities include a room "mimicking the reality of a Wall Street brokerage room", received the US Green Building Council’s gold certificate for sustainability.
It runs a full range of undergraduate, certificate and master’s courses, with a growing range of online options including a degree in Enterprise Architecture and Business Transformation offered for the first time in 2018.
It has, though, made a strikingly successful speciality of supply chains, dating back to the creation of the Centre for Logistics Research (now the Centre for Supply Chain Research) as one of its eight research centres in 1989, and based on courses from undergraduate upwards.
This provision dominated advisory firm Gartner’s national rankings in the subject area, in 2018 recording a fifth consecutive number one rating for undergraduate courses and a fifth since 2008 in postgraduate programmes. Operations and logistics is also a popular destination for Penn State MBAs, taking 41 per cent of them.